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Should Texas get TARP funds for space program?

Every single Republican in the House voted against the $819 billion Recovery Act in January. Among the Republican senators who voted against the stimulus were Texas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. Both of them complained that they wanted to see more tax cuts rather than government spending.

But now, both Hutchison and Cornyn are pressuring the Obama administration to give Texas $3 billion in stimulus funds. The co-signers on the letter are a bipartisan group of the Texas delegation in the House, including 19 Republicans, all of whom also voted against the funds for which they’re now begging. The letter was drafted and circulated by GOP Rep. Pete Olson. From the letter:

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:12 PM on Oct. 6, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (28)
  • Therefore, to ensure the U.S. maintains its leadership in human space exploration, we respectfully ask that you include in your promised amended budget request for NASA’s Exploration Systems a request to Congress to reallocate the necessary funds for NASA from the funds that we anticipate will remain available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). As of last month, less than 15 percent of ARRA funds had been expended.

    Since the stated purpose of the stimulus package was to secure good jobs and stabilize our economy, there is no better investment that could be made than the addition of up to $3 billion to NASA in FY2010, and the projection of at least that level of increase, as recommended by your Committee, at a 2.4% rate of inflation in the out-year projections included in the initial FY2010 Request.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:12 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Cornyn said that while the stimulus funding “that has already been spent [is] clearly not working, it is my hope that the Administration will use a portion of the remaining, authorized, unspent stimulus dollars to safeguard our nation’s space program.”

    Texas isn’t the only state showing this stimulus hypocrisy. Some other examples:

    – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) is now criticizing Gov. Tim Kaine (D) for being “slow” to spend the stimulus money allocated for Virginia — even though if Wolf and his Republican colleagues would have had their way, there would be no extra money for the state at all. “We could use that money desperately,” Wolf told reporters. “We’re in a critical situation.”

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:13 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) also voted against the Recovery Act and has since called it a failure. The stimulus, Grassley told the National Review last week, “is not working.” In June, he had harsher words, saying the stimulus had no positive impact on the economy, “none whatsoever.” But recently, Grassley announced two grants totaling $399,875 to Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa and Goodwill Industries of the Heartland through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration program. “These funds will give a hand up to our veterans who have fought bravely and selflessly for our country,” Grassley said. The funds were authorized by the Recovery Act.

    In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) continues to put his ideology over his state’s needs, refusing to listen to state officials’ requests for high-speed rail funding.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:13 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Many GOP members, like Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), are still slamming the stimulus as waste and a failure, yet at the same time are making internal appeals for more funds. Guthrie, attacked the Recovery Act for its “staggering” costs just days before he urged Defense Secretary Robert Gates to consider using stimulus money to renovate a military hospital in his congressional district.

    Other opponents of the stimulus now pleading for stimulus money include:

    – Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) opposed the stimulus and attacked it as a bloated government giveaway. However, both senators recently asked Gates to steer $50 million in stimulus money for a bio-energy project. Visiting a food bank aided by money from the stimulus, Chambliss exclaimed last week, “I’m very pleased that the government continues to play a key role, here, from the standpoint of providing food

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • – Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK) — who called the stimulus a “Big Brother spending program” — asked Army Secretary Pete Geren to use $8.4 million in stimulus money for repairs to buildings at two Oklahoma National Guard sites.

    – Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told CNS News last month, “I don’t think it [failed] – I know it. I said at the time, there’s no stimulus in the stimulus bill.” He also called the Recovery Act simply “welfare.” However, a recent press release from Inhofe hails $1.9 million in funding for a Claremore regional railroad-based trans-modal facility, noting the investment will “help spur additional economic growth” and that the senator is “happy” about the way the money is being used. Inhofe, of course, makes no mention that the money is authorized by the Recovery Act.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Rep. John Carter (R-TX) opposed the Recovery Act, and recently called the entire program a failure that should be “repealed.” Regardless, Carter’s public pronouncements did not stop him from requesting $621 million in hospital projects from the stimulus — then calling the funds a victory for the economy in central Texas.

    – Rep. Bill Young (R-FL), another stimulus opponent, now lists various links on his website to help his constituents “take advantage of the federal stimulus money.”


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:17 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Congressional Republican leadership, who helped corral every single GOP House member and a nearly every Republican senator to oppose the Recovery Act, are also shamelessly attacking the stimulus while requesting stimulus money. As ThinkProgress has reported, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) recently hosted a job fair filled with jobs fueled by the stimulus and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been taking credit for stimulus projects in his home state. Indeed, even Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), considered a leading figure for his party, toured his state handing out jumbo-sized checks containing millions of dollars of stimulus money. Rather than credit the Recovery Act, which he refers to as a failure, Jindal printed his own name on the checks.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:17 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Actually, I don't have a problem with it. They are not using the money for anything more than paybacks right now. Using it for the space program is a good idea and it will save jobs unlike the bike paths, sex studies and turtle crossings it is being used for now.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 12:24 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Honestly I could careless..I am sick and tired of them all..the spendulous bill wth has it done? I mean what has it really done? Tn is worse I know that unemployment went up more recently..and we got spendulous funds..

    Answer by tnmomofive at 12:25 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I disapprove of the majority of the stimulus funds. My answer isn't in regard to whether or not they should receive money.

    I am wondering why the OP is blaming TEXAS for this. NASA is a federal agency. They have facilities in SEVERAL states. The senators are asking for additional funds for a federal program, not for state spending. There is no hypocrisy in that. NASA has had a lot of budget cuts and quite frankly we expect them do do a lot with a little (in the grand scheme of spending). NASA employs a lot of people and the program provides many jobs via the companies that hold manufacturing contracts with them.


    Answer by yourspecialkid at 12:27 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

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